Daphne species are shrubs, with upright or prostrate stems. Upright types may grow to 1.5 m (5 ft). Their leaves are concentrated, primarily organized at the same time (although opposite in d. Genkwa), and have brief petioles (stalks). The leaves tend to be clustered towards the end of the stems and are of various shapes, although constantly longer than wide. The leaf surface area might be smooth (glabrous) or hairy.

Many types flower in late winter season or very early spring. The flowers are grouped into clusters (inflorescences), either in the leaf axils towards completion of the stems or forming terminal heads. The inflorescences lack bracts. Specific flowers totally lack petals and are formed by 4 (seldom five) petaloid sepals, tubular at the base with free lobes at the peak. They range in colour from white, greenish yellow or yellow to bright pink and purple. The majority of the evergreen types have greenish flowers, while the deciduous species tend to have pink flowers. There are two times the variety of endurances as sepals, normally 8, organized in two series. Endurances either have brief filaments or absence filaments completely and are usually held inside the sepal tube. The style is short or missing, and the stigma is head-shaped (capitate).

The ovary has a single chamber (locule). The fruits are one-seeded, and are either fleshy berries or dry and leathery (drupaceous). When ripe the fruit is usually red or yellow, often black. [2]

Daphne varieties

The sweet smell that wafts through the air in february and march can be attributed to just a few plants, among them being daphne.

An old garden favorite, daphne odora, or winter daphne is a plant no lawn need to lack. While winter daphne is justly famous, she has a few siblings you must be familiar with.

Here are a few of our favorites:.

Daphne odora: winter daphne

Pink buds in january open up to light pink flowers in february and march. The scent is so thick that on warmer days it can cover an area. Leaves are evergreen & & leathery. There are many ranges of daphne odora and all of them have the exact same magnificently scented flowers. The primary difference is the leaf color, and there may be a small distinction in size too – here are some of our favorites:.

‘ marginata’ has a small cream-colored edge to the leaves. The brand-new development is heavy, so when it rains (as it does a lot in portland) the branches splay a bit and put down, which results in a plant that is extremely large. A fully grown plant is 3-4′ x 4-6′.

‘ Maijima’ is a new intro with thick velvety edges on the leaves. Supposedly it’s a bit smaller – 3-4′ x 3-4′.

Daphne odora ‘zuiko nishiki’

‘ zuiko nishiki’ has solid green leaves, and stiffer branching, so it’s less likely to droop like ‘marginata’. Grows 4′ x 4′.

All winter season daphnes grow best in morning or dappled sun. It suffices light to produce excellent flowering but not a lot that their leaves burn. In hot afternoon sun leaves look horrendous! Z7-9.

Daphne ‘lawrence crocker’

This little daphne just offers and provides. Fragrant, purple/mauve flower clusters bloom from spring thru fall once the plant is developed. Leaves are evergreen and narrow, about 1-2″ long. The plant is a nice little shrubby thing growing just to 12″ x12″. It is the best addition to a rock garden or container. Sufficient drainage in the soil is vital to survival, so enable it and do not over-water. Sun, part shade– zones 6-9.

Daphne transatlantica (d. Caucasica x d. Collina)

We might have saved the best for last. This is group of simple daphnes! We bring several ranges of d. Transatlantica – all have pale pink buds and white flowers that bloom numerous times each year, from april-october. They are semi-evergreen, so in warm winters they hold most of the leaves, however in harsher nw winters they’ll shed part of the foliage. Some variation happens in the leaves and growth habits – here’s a synopsis.

Daphne eternal fragrance’

Leaves are deep glossy green, 2″ and convex. Flowers are a bit larger than other d. Transatlanticas. Grows 2-3′ x2-3′.

Daphne ‘jim’s pride’

This range can be difficult to come by, however is worth listing. ‘Jim’s pride’ can be a little persnickety while getting developed, but those who persevere are rewarded with flowers for 6 months, blue-green leaves and an easy-care plant that’s around 4′ x 4′.

Daphne ‘summer season ice’

Leaves have a velvety edge, contributing to the wintry appearance all year. Blooms its heart out! Grows to about 3-4′ high and broad.

Sun or part shade, values improved drainage like any daphne but thrives with a little disregard. Hardy in zones 5-9. [3]

The best winter-flowering daphne shrubs to grow

Daphne bholua ‘jacqueline postill’

An evergreen daphne cultivar with leathery, mid-green leaves that is strong growing when established. Big clusters of mauve-pink flowers cover the shrub for weeks from midwinter into early spring. The plant’s scent is powerful, sweet and scrumptious, even on cold days. This daphne was raised at hillier nurseries by propagator alan postill and named for his partner. Height 1.8 m. Agm.

Daphne mezereum f. Alba

A rare, deciduous daphne with upright stems and small, narrow green leaves. The starry, highly fragrant flowers cluster on stems in winter prior to the leaves appear, and are often followed by yellowish berries. This daphne requires chalk soil to grow. Height 90cm.

Daphne odora rebecca (= ‘hewreb’)

A surprisingly robust kind of daphne odora with green leaves, boldly edged with velvety gold. A snazzy foliage plant, it has the reward of aromatic winter season flowers. A better garden plant than previous cultivars with a comparable variegation. Height 1m.

Daphne bholua ‘darjeeling’

A semi-evergreen shrub with tan-coloured stems and pointed mid-green leaves. Clusters of fragrant, pale-pink flowers, which fade to white, appear from early winter. The original daphne variety was raised at rhs garden wisley from seed collected in darjeeling. Height 1.8 m.

Daphne bholua ‘limpsfield’

This variety blooms from midwinter and is heavily aromatic; the rich purple-pink flower edges merge into white faces. An excellent evergreen daphne shrub to grow near to the house in a protected position. Height 1.8 m.

Daphne bolua ‘peter smithers’

An evergreen or semi-evergreen daphne. In midwinter, clusters of deep, purple-pink buds open up to paler flowers, which then end up being darker with age. This daphne range was selected at royal botanic gardens, kew’s wakehurst website from seed collected by sir peter smithers in nepal. Height 1.8 m.

Daphne causcasia

A small, deciduous and rare daphne shrub which flowers from late spring well into summer season and sometimes into fall. The clusters of white daphne flowers are aromatic and frequently followed by yellow fruits. This daphne variety is finest grown in dappled shade on moist, acid soil. Height 1.2 m.

Daphne pontica

A small, spreading out, evergreen shrub that is happiest under the light shade of trees and tolerant of heavy clay soils. Glossy green leaves show off the large clusters of fragrant, yellow-green flowers that are produced easily all over this daphne in late spring. Height 60cm.

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘astrid’

A rounded, bushy daphne shrub with narrow, blue-green leaves that are finely edged with creamy yellow. Clusters of fragrant, pink flowers appear from late spring through to summer. An excellent shrub for foliage interest. 60cm.

Daphne cneorum

A dwarf daphne shrub with prostrate branches and narrow evergreen leaves. The large clusters of sweetly aromatic, pink flowers appear in mid to late spring. Often challenging to establish, this daphne range needs a protected, open situation on chalk soil. Height 15cm.

Daphne x burkwoodii ‘lavenirii’

A cross between daphne cneorum and daphne caucasica that was raised in france in 1920. This unusual daphne has clusters of extremely aromatic, pale-pink flowers, darker in the centres, from late spring well into summertime. A spreading daphne shrub, it grows best on alkaline soil. Height 60cm.

Daphne rolsdorfii

A daphne variety that’s bushy and upright in practice with shiny, evergreen leaves. This little shrub has especially snazzy clusters of highly aromatic, purple-pink daphne flowers in mid-spring. Grows on alkaline or acid soil. Height 45cm. Agm. [4]

How to plant and grow daphne?

Growing daphne in the garden

Daphne requires a moist, free-draining, abundant soil that is acidic (ph 5 to 5.5 is ideal). It will not endure lime or alkaline soil at all. In locations with ph neutral or slightly alkaline soils, daphne needs to be grown in a pot.

Before planting daphne, dig the soil over well and add in lots of garden compost and weathered manure. Include a controlled-release fertiliser for acid-loving plants in your preparation.

When transplanting from a pot, prevent breaking up the ball of potting mix– daphne dislikes having its roots disturbed.

Pick a semi-shaded spot where your plant will be safeguarded from frosts, strong winds and hot afternoon sun in summer. Prevent dense shade, which will inhibit blooming.

Spread a sugarcane or lucerne mulch over the roots in summer to keep the soil cool.

Daphne prospers in cool temperate to temperate climates. While it will tolerate light frost, it does not thrive in sub-tropical or tropical locations with high humidity.

While daphne likes soil that holds some wetness, it does not like wet feet, and will develop root rot in soil that remains wet for extended periods. Let the soil dry out after watering or, in high rains locations, plant into a raised bed that drains easily.

Growing daphne in pots

Daphne doesn’t like being disturbed, so select a pot that is large enough to permit a number of years of growth before the plant will need to be re-potted. Make sure there are plenty of drain holes, and put a piece of flywire mesh in the base to keep the potting mix from rinsing.

Use a premium-quality potting mix that is specially developed for acid-loving plants (often identified as appropriating for azaleas, camellias and gardenias).

Over summer, move the pot to a shaded spot to prevent leaf burn. Remember to water when the top 5cm or so of potting mix is dry to the touch.

Feeding daphne

A controlled-release fertiliser for acid-loving plants ought to be used twice a year, in early spring and early fall. This can be supplemented with a water-soluble plant food, again for acid lovers, from mid-spring to late summer to keep plants healthy.

Sometimes daphne might develop yellow leaves. Possible causes include a deficiency of a trace element, magnesium (mg). This can be repaired with epsom salts. Liquify a level tablespoon in 4l of water in a watering can and sprinkle over the root system.

An annual application of iron chelates (as per label directions) after blooming may also be beneficial to the overall health of the plant.

Illness and pests that affect daphne

Strong, healthy daphne plants are rarely troubled by pests, but sometimes there may be a problem of scale– small circular brown or black dots on the upper and undersides of leaves and stems. Each small dome secures a pest. If there are only a few present, peel them off and squash them. When large numbers are visible, use a horticultural oil as directed.

How to prune daphne

Prune your daphne after blooming.

  • Cut below buds or nodes.
  • Cut at a minor angle. This will help prevent rot.

How to propagate daphne

  1. Take 6-inch long cuttings and strip the leaves off the lower half.
  2. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone.
  3. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with a wet mix of 6 parts garden compost and one part perlite. The lower half of the cutting need to be under the mix. Company down to keep the cutting in place.
  4. Place the pot in partial shade, and keep damp and safeguarded from wind.
  5. Roots need to form in about six weeks. Transplant into the garden 2 weeks after roots have formed. [5]

How to grow a winter season daphne

Winter season daphne shrub can be grown from seeds removed from fruits. These seeds can be planted without cleaning and ought to germinate in the spring months. Seeds that do not germinate in their very first spring can be left for the following spring to germinate.

These plants can likewise be grown from little greenwood or semi-ripe cuttings of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long. These cuttings will take advantage of the use of a root hormone powder and will root after a duration of 6 to 10 weeks if planted in a well-drained medium.

Winter season daphne plants are sensitive and must not be transplanted as soon as developed as numerous plants will not survive this upheaval. These plants should be watered well, however be permitted to dry rather between watering.

These plants need fast-draining soil that is abundant in organic material. The roots of these plants mustn’t be kept in a saturated substrate. They should be planted in a website with complete sun to partial or dappled shade, that is protected from strong, persistent winds. A planting site that receives some afternoon shade is advised for gardens in very hot locations.

Usda strength zones 7 to 9 offer the best climate and temperature levels for growing winter daphne and these plants will grow at a moderate rate there. [6]

A review of its conventional usages, phytochemistry and pharmacology

The genus daphne belongs to the thymeleaceae household and includes over 90 types that are distributed in asia, europe and parts of north africa. The species of the genus daphne are utilized in the conventional medication of china, tibet, korea, and the middle east for the treatment of numerous conditions. A broad series of research studies has actually revealed the significant biological capacity of these species as sources of biologically and pharmacologically active substances. Daphne species give several classes of important phytochemicals such as coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, steroids and various classes of terpenes. The phytochemical variety of this genus is demonstrated by over 350 secondary metabolites separated from various types. The genus has a broad spectrum of biological activities consisting of antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, antiviral, abortive and haemostatic results. A variety of bioactive secondary metabolites found in this genus might have potential usage in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Hence, types belonging to the genus daphne can be considered an important source both for the treatment of various conditions, due to the existence of a variety of bioactive constituents with potent bioactivities, and as possible leads in the discovery and synthesis of brand-new medications. [7]

Historic plants – tradition from the acadians

Despite the spate of cold, rainy weather, it’s flowering now in the countryside, a sporadic, pink-blossomed shrub with a historic connection. The daphne was brought here by the acadians, and never having spread far, it continues today in scattered pockets near what were when acadian settlements. Given its origin, it’s no coincidence that the daphne normally can be found growing wild near grand pre, in white rock and pereau.

You might call the daphne a historical plant in the sense that it’s connected with the old acadians. There are lots of plants growing wild and cultivated here with the very same connection. The daphne is only one of numerous now typical plants introduced by the acadians. Some, like the daphne, were cultivated for ornamental functions, but the majority of were grown for practical uses, as dyes, in medication and as food supplements.

One of the most appealing plants is the wild white strawberry. Until i talked recently with reg newell and his wife, botanist ruth newell of the e. C. Smith herbarium in wolfville, i wasn’t aware this plant existed. Ms. Newell told me the white strawberry – so called since its berry is white – is thought to have been introduced by the acadians and might have been utilized medicinally.

The white strawberry is extremely unusual and just can be found in a few locations. Ms. Newell said she’s seen the plant in white rock along the gaspereau river and in a rough brookside area near oak opportunity in wolfville.

It’s stated that a few of the plants introduced by the acadians are ideas to the presence of their old settlements. To put it simply, they’re often found in abundance near an acadian homesite.

While it’s apparently typical in kings county today, the presence of the introduced red fly honeysuckle may use hints to acadian activity in a minimum of one part of the county. The editors of the natural history of kings county twice mention the possibility of an acadian tidal mill when existing on elderkin creek in between kentville and brand-new minas. The site is perfect for such a mill, the editors say, but the “only proof of its presence is the presence of plants common of those grown by the acadians.” one of those plants is the honeysuckle.

Many plants had medicinal usages, some were used in the kitchen; however not all that came down to us today are a welcome acadian tradition. One such plant is the buckthorn. The acadians introduced buckthorn, which might have been used as a hedge however according to ruth newell was utilized medicinally. Newell says the buckthorn, which prevails in the wolfville area, “has a practice of taking control of.” today, she states, “it is identified as a serious intrusive types.”.

While plants (and trees) presented by the acadians are said to provide clues to the presence of homesites, many have spread out well beyond recognized settlement areas and prevail. Still, they have a historical connection because they were as soon as part and parcel of the acadian lifestyle. Besides the daphne and.

Honeysuckle, other plants discussed in a nature of kings county as introduced by the acadians include wormwood, chicory, slim vetch, caraway, hops and tansy. [8]

Uses of daphne odora

Poisonous parts

All parts of the plant are harmful. Skin contact with the sap can trigger dermatitis in some people.

Edible uses

There are no edible usages noted for daphne odora.

Material uses

The flowers are really fragrant, they are put in sachets and used for pot-pourri. They are also used to fragrance water. The cultivar ‘aureo-marginata’ can be utilized as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each method. [9]

Conventional uses and benefits of mezereon

  • Mezereum has been utilized in the past for dealing with rheumatism and indolent ulcers, but because of its hazardous nature it is no longer thought about to be safe.
  • The plant includes numerous hazardous substances, consisting of daphnetoxin and mezerein, and these are currently being investigated for their anti-leukemia results.
  • Bark is cathartic, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, stimulant and vesicant.
  • Root bark is the most active clinically, but the stem bark is also used.
  • It has actually been used in a lotion to cause discharge in indolent ulcers and likewise has an advantageous result upon rheumatic joints.
  • Fruits have occasionally been utilized as a purgative.
  • Natural treatment is made from the plant.
  • It is used in the treatment of various skin complaints and inflammations.
  • An ointment was formerly utilized to cause discharge in indolent ulcers.
  • Bark is utilized for snake and other poisonous bites, and in siberia, by veterinary cosmetic surgeons, for horses’ hoofs.
  • In germany a tincture of the berries is in your area utilized in neuralgia.
  • Pieces of the root may be chewed in toothache.

Safety measures

  • All parts of the plant are highly poisonous.
  • Skin contact with the sap can cause dermatitis in some people.
  • Berries have actually proved fatal to kids.
  • It may cause diarrhea, vomiting and stomach ache.
  • High dosages can be dangerous.
  • It ought to be used under medical supervision.
  • Managing the fresh twigs can cause rashes and eczema in delicate people.
  • Intake of plant parts leads within a couple of hours to extreme irritation and a burning sensation in the mouth, with swelling of the lips and face, increased salivation, hoarseness and trouble in swallowing.
  • These symptoms are quickly followed by severe abdominal pain, headache, feeling numb, queasiness and bloody diarrhea.
  • Kids (who might be poisoned by the attractive red fruits) typically reveal additional narcotic signs with muscular twitching.
  • Bark is not normally taken internally and even when used externally this ought to be done with severe care and not applied if the skin is broken. [10]

Are daphne shrubs safe for human beings?

All parts of the daphne shrub are dangerous to both animals and humans. In fact, they are so poisonous that simply chewing on the flowers, foliage, bark, or red berries can be deadly. Two or 3 fruits from a daphne shrub can consist of enough acrid juice to be fatal to a child; all parts of every species are highly harmful.

Vomiting and diarrhea, with blood or mucous, prevail symptoms, as well as skin blisters from the juice, and blisters of the soft tissues of the mouth from any plant parts chewed or swallowed. [11]


Plants have an important role in preserving individuals’s health and improving the quality of human life. They are an essential element of people’s diet plan, however they are likewise utilized in other spheres of human life as a restorative resources, components of cosmetic products, paints and others. The Daphne genus belongs to family Thymeleaceae that includes 44 families with around 500 herbal species. Th e plant species of the genus Daphne are used in the conventional medication in China and tropical part of Africa for the treatment of numerous conditions. Previous studies showed significant biological capacity of these species as a source of pharmacologically active substances. This shows that this genus possess a broad spectrum of biological activity including antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, anti-ulcerogenic, abortive, hypocholesterolemic and hemostatic impacts. Additionally, Daphne plants are the source of valuable bioactive phytochemicals such as coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, steroids and different classes of terpenes. Various parts of the Daphne plants contain specific bioactive metabolites and can represent a source of new, natural, pharmacologically active substances, which might possibly be used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. [12]


  1. Https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/daphne
  2. Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/daphne_( plant) #description
  3. Https://www.portlandnursery.com/shrubs/daphne
  4. Https://www.gardensillustrated.com/plants/shrubs/best-daphne-for-year-round-colour-and-scent/
  5. Https://www.bunnings.com.au/diy-advice/garden/planting-and-growing/how-to-grow-and-care-for-a-daphne-plant
  6. Https://florgeous.com/winter-daphne/
  7. Https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/s0367326x20301222
  8. Http://versicolor.ca/nswfsoldsite/species/thymelaeaceae/daphnemez/index.html
  9. Https://practicalplants.org/wiki/daphne_odora/
  10. Https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/mezereon-daphne-mezereum/
  11. Https://dengarden.com/gardening/before-you-choose-plants-based-on-their-beauty-make-sure-you-know-which-ones-are-poisonous
  12. Https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303800387_Plants_from_The_Genus_Daphne_A_Review_of_its_Traditional_Uses_Phytochemistry_Biological_and_Pharmacological_Activity
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